Latvia Gifts Mi-2 and Mi-17 Helicopters to the Ukrainian Air Force

The two Mi-2 helos donated by Latvia to the Ukrainian Air Force / Photo credit: Artis Pabriks
The two Mi-2 helos donated by Latvia to the Ukrainian Air Force / Photo credit: Artis Pabriks

Two M-2 and two Mi-17 aircraft have already been delivered to Ukraine

Minister of Defense of Latvia Artis Pabriks announced today, August 15, that four helicopters have been donated to the Ukrainian Air Force. The statement was published on his and the ministry's accounts on Twitter.

"The Stingers sent half a year ago helped delay the Russian invasion. Now, as Ukrainian soldiers counterattack in many places, our donated helicopters will help carry out military operations and save lives!" minister Pabriks said.

Read more: Best Western Helicopters to Be a Good Replacement For the Soviet Mi-8 And Mi-24 In Ukraine (Analysis)

Defense Express notes, that both these helicopters can serve as transportation and landing carriers as well as combat support aircraft when equipped with guns. Still, Mi-17 is a larger helicopter with more capabilities. For instance, the maximum takeoff weight is 13,000 kg (Mi-17) vs. 3,550 kg (Mi-2A1), payload capacity is 1,200 kg vs. 4,000 kg respectively. Mi-17 can take on board up to 24 soldiers and 3 crewmen, while Mi-2 accommodates at most 9 people (including crew).

A bunch of Mi-17 helicopters has also been supplied earlier by the United States / Photo credit: Alex Miller, U.S. Air Force, Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

The speed also differs: 250km/h and 225km/h are Mi-17's maximum and cruise speeds respectively, while for Mi-2 these specifications are 220 km/h and 200 km/h. However, mi-2 is two times lesser in length than Mi-17, so the latter pays with its visibility for better performance.

Illustrative photo: an armed Mi-17 helicopter of the Slovak Army / Photo credit: AFP

Anyway, both these aircraft have been used by Ukrainian Air Force during their missions. For instance, the aforementioned Mi-2A1 were purchased from a Ukrainian manufacturer for the evacuation of wounded troops from the battlefield. And the Mi-8 helicopters, which are essentially the base version for the modernized Mi-17, got on a video using heavy S-13 missiles before.

Read more: Mi-17 Helicopters Finally Go to Ukraine (Photos)